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Title: Re-thinking education in a world with HIV and AIDS : a qualitative inquiry into HIV- and AIDS-related education in Mozambique
Author: Miedema, Esther
Awarding Body: Institute of Education (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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There exists broad consensus as to the importance of HIV- and AIDS-related education in efforts to decrease young people’s vulnerability to the epidemic. As illustrated by the broad variety of HIV prevention education initiatives implemented around the world, less agreement exists as to the form such education should take. This thesis has developed a conceptual framework to support analysis of school-based HIV- and AIDS-related education and, specifically, to support efforts to increase understanding of this particular and diverse field of education. The specific objectives of the study were to: i. develop an overview of research into the quality of HIV- and AIDS-related education; ii. investigate the theoretical underpinnings of school-based HIV- and AIDS-related education a) overall, and b) in Mozambique; iii. examine conceptions of the aims of HIV- and AIDS-related education in relation to the broader aims of school education in Mozambique; and iv. investigate the potential for the conceptual framework, developed as part of the study, to support comparison of perspectives on HIV- and AIDS-related education in Mozambique. Addressing key gaps in available literature on HIV- and AIDS-related education, two analytical frameworks were developed. Based on an analysis of current programmes worldwide and a review of a multidisciplinary body of literature on HIV- and AIDS-related education, the first framework draws a distinction between three broad approaches to HIV- and AIDS-related education: those building on moral concerns, and those that might be understood as informed by notions of rights, or science. The second analytical framework developed in the study distinguishes three principal conceptions of the aims of education, namely the achievement of autonomy, (civil) enculturation or vocational preparation. This latter heuristic device was informed by an examination of key educational philosophical debates on the aims of education. A qualitative multi-method empirical study was subsequently undertaken, gathering data from young people, (peer) educators, policy makers and representatives of 3 international agencies in Maputo, Mozambique on their views regarding the aims of (HIV- and AIDS-related) education. The analysis revealed that participants drew on varying and strongly gendered understandings of what was considered (im)moral behaviour and a commitment to rights in efforts to reduce the spread and impact of the epidemic. Furthermore, in different ways, policy makers, educators and international agency staff identified both the causes of and solution for the epidemic as existing in various forms of modern and traditional ‘culture’. Policy makers and educators, for instance, stressed their concerns regarding the relationship between modernity and the spread of HIV and AIDS in Mozambican society, while staff members of international agencies identified the causes of the epidemic in inequitable - ‘traditional’ - interpersonal relationships. Young people were often found to appropriate dominant discourse, but also challenged opinions, particularly in relation to gendered perceptions of (im)moral behaviour. Building on the analysis, a fourth broad approach to HIV- and AIDS-related education was identified, namely that informed by notions of culture. The analysis illustrates that within HIV- and AIDS-related education, where concepts such as rights and culture are seen as central to many programmes, the different actors involved in the development, delivery and uptake of such education draw on a considerable variety of discourses. An important consequence is that within and across these various sets of actors, understandings of what issues should be addressed and how, can vary widely. At other times, such understandings may differ in more subtle but, nonetheless, crucial ways. A critical implication of the study, therefore, concerns the need for more meaningful dialogue across and between different actors. The thesis concludes by elucidating how dialogue about HIV- and AIDS-related education as well as HIV prevention education might be enhanced by drawing on a pragmatic epistemology of ‘knowing’, i.e. one whereby dialogue and education are acknowledged as ongoing processes of growth and, crucially, as ways to deal with uncertainty, rather than leading to closed-ended certainties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Humanities and Social Sciences